Organizing Your Paper, Spaces & Time 

Organized & Productive 
September, 2014   
As I sit writing this newsletter, I can catch a glimpse of the fall colors to come just outside my office window. Just a few leaf tips have gone orange, and the grass has that brilliant green hue that complements the bright blue autumn sky so beautifully. M
Lisa S. Griffith, CPOŽ
y favorite time of year, fall brings with it the quickening pace of back to school, the start of a fresh academic year for some, and a return to the increasingly hectic pace of our regular activities and schedules after a brief summer respite for just about everyone (if you were able to take any respite at all!) Along with all these changes, both beautiful and exhausting, comes the lengthening shadows that are the prelude to the shorter days of winter and time spent mostly inside our homes and offices. If your spaces, paper, and schedule have become unmanageable and you're dreading that return to indoor captivity, now is the time to put some sanity- and time-saving systems into place. Whether you choose to tackle your particular project alone, or need some expert help, your options abound ! Read this newsletter, ponder (not too long!) and make that action plan, dig into that pile, or give me a call to help you get started, support you, and push you across the finish line! Check out the second part of my "5 D's to Quick Decision Making" this month, and wrestle back some control of your space and time now!


The 5 D's for Quick Decisions,
pt. 2


Last month, I discussed the first part of my "5 D's for Quick Decisions" for dealing with the daily paper that comes into your home or office. This month, I'll cover the second part of the system, which should help you deal with just about any piece of paperwork that enters your space on a regular basis.



Recently I read a great article in our local newspaper by RI cognitive behavior therapist, Dr. Ben Johnson, who periodically writes a life-coaching column called The Mental Edge. He wrote about overcoming procrastination and how to increase your productivity. One of his statements really resonated with me: "'Some Now' is the royal road to productivity. Give me five full minutes on it right now. It will be a great investment." (read the entire article here.) Johnson was writing about getting started on bigger projects and that often just committing to putting in five minutes on it to get started sparks the road to completion. It had extra meaning for me, because it applies so neatly to the next step in the "5 D's", which is taking just five minutes every day when the mail comes in to deal with what can be dealt with in five minutes or less. Sign that permission slip. Tear out that coupon. RSVP to that party. Put that event into your calendar right away. Make that quick phone call, send that easy email. If you can get it accomplished in five minutes or less, just do it on the spot. You'll be surprised at how it will keep the little stuff on your "to-do" list from blossoming out of control, and that little, nagging stuff gets done and out of the way quickly.



Once you've gotten rid of the junk, delegated the things that belong to others, and taken five minutes to deal with the small stuff, you will be left with the most important mail/paperwork. These are the things that require action, whether it's simply to file for the future, or needs more than five minutes of thought and energy. Ideally, papers that need to be dealt with in the next 3 days, even up to a week (no longer) should be in this category. Having a spot to place these "do it soon" items, such as a paper tray, wall pocket, or small basket isolates them from non-essential paperwork and makes it easier for you to keep what's important together and ready for action when you have set aside time for them. Having a separate tray, pocket or basket for papers that simply need to be filed and require no action is also a good idea. You will save time sorting through piles of non-urgent, unimportant stuff to get to the good stuff when it's all assembled and close at hand.



These are the papers on which you will need to take action in the future, but are not urgent. Long-term projects fall into this category, as does anything you'd like to take some time to research. At home, these are things like making a major purchase (computer, appliance, car, house, etc.), or a decorating/construction project. At work, it could be a report for which you need to compile information, or notes for an upcoming meeting. Having file folders or binders for each project which have a place in a desktop file box, or a specific place in an easily-accessible filing cabinet drawer is a great collection spot. For the more visually oriented, clear plastic wall pockets or a literature sorter will do the trick. Simply setting aside an assigned home for those papers will cut down on your paper clutter, keep them gathered in one spot, and will save you time and hassle when it comes time for you to actually get the work done.


That's it. A simple, quick, easy to use sorting guide that should help keep those paper piles from building up and make it much easier to find what you need, when you need it. Just a few minutes each will do the trick.






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Hear Lisa Speak
on Organizing & Productivity

The Four Organizing Traps

Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Noon - 1 pm
East Bay Chamber of Commerce
16 Cutler St.
Warren, RI
(a presentation for the WEBOND Women's Fall Series - open to all.
To register, go to East Bay Chamber WEBOND Series)

Have you started an organizing project with the best of intentions, only to lose steam before the project is done? Does your beautifully organized space deteriorate into its previous state more quickly than you'd like to admit? Or do you never really get going at all, and wonder why it's so difficult to get started? If any of this sounds familiar, you're not alone! Many of us struggle with the same issues, and we all have mental traps that capture us and keep us from succeeding in our organizing goals. Come to this presentation and learn about the four common mental traps that can derail even the most well-intentioned of organizing projects!



The Optimized Office
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Noon - 1 pm
Brown University
Crystal Room, Alumnae Hall
194 Meeting St.
Providence, RI
(a presentation for the the Brown Faculty & Staff Wellness Program - open to Brown Faculty & Staff only)

Turning your cluttered, disorganized office into a functional workspace is crucial to maintaining your productivity and keeping stress at bay. This presentation will offer organizing techniques and tips to help you deal with the most common source of office clutter, wasted time, and reduced productivity - paper! Learn how to set up an easy-to-maintain desktop center that will keep important papers at your fingertips, make quick decisions about how to deal with incoming mail and other paperwork, and turn your cluttered desk into an efficient place to work. You will walk away with tools that will enable you to reclaim your desktop, filing cabinet, office floor, or any other place that has become overwhelmed by paper clutter.

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A combination of a 1 1/2 hour on-site consultation, written action plan, and 3 follow-up phone consultations, the Pick My Brain +  package offers you flexible, expert organizing solutions that you can implement any time, any place, at your convenience. You will get the opportunity to "pick my brain" for my organizing expertise and get solutions tailored to your situation that will fit your busy schedule. Click here for more information.

"Take Back the Office" Day
A full- or half-day interactive workshop custom-designed for your business or organization, combining large group presentations and one-on-one, or small group coaching. Lisa will come into your office and work directly with your staff to implement organizing tips and techniques that will leave your spaces uncluttered, functional and efficient. In just one day, you will be able to "take back the office" and boost your team's productivity in their newly organized and well-ordered workspace!


In order, in joy, 



Lisa S. Griffith, CPOŽ 
The Organized Way
Organizing & Productivity Specialist/Speaker 
Phone:  (401) 289-0042
Website: www.organizedway.com  View our profile on LinkedIn  Find us on Facebook